Russian pop star cancels US tour

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46959525

Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump, Aras AgalarovImage copyright
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Image caption

Russian singer Emin Agalarov, left, with Donald Trump and his father Aras Agalarov in 2013

The Russian pop star behind a now-infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower has cancelled his North America tour.

Emin Agalarov, a singer and the son of billionaire property developer Aras Agalarov, was due to perform in four cities in the US and Canada.

In an Instagram video, he tells his followers that he’s been “put in this position against [his] will”.

A special counsel led by Robert Mueller is investigating Russian links to President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Mr Agalarov’s US lawyer Scott Balber told NBC News that the tour was “most definitely” cancelled because of the investigation.

“He could come and do the concert but we don’t want him to be subpoenaed or held under a material witness warrant or anything else,” he says.

Mr Mueller’s office has declined to comment.

President Trump’s relationship with Mr Agalarov and his father has come under scrutiny.

Aras Agalarov was Mr Trump’s business partner in taking Miss Universe to Moscow in 2013, and the two were in discussions about opening a Trump Tower in Russia – a project that never materialised.

The US president also made a cameo appearance in one of Emin Agalarov’s 2013 music videos.

In 2016, the singer’s then-publicist Rob Goldstone contacted Mr Trump’s campaign team claiming to have “dirt” on his rival Hilary Clinton.

Following that email, in June, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met Mr Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort at Trump Tower.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Sarah Rainsford tries to get Russian pop star Emin Agalarov to comment on his links to Donald Trump.

But at that highly controversial meeting, Mr Goldstone later told BBC News, Ms Veselnitskaya presented “very generic dirt”.

Mr Agalarov, meanwhile, has made his feelings about the Mueller investigation very clear.

Last year he released a music video making fun of the allegations, using Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Jared Kushner impersonators to act out various scandals – including the unsubstantiated claim that Trump was filmed at a hotel with sex workers in Moscow.

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